Healthy Family Meal Ideas: Easiest Butternut Squash Soup Ever

A pureed butternut squash soup is an incredibly easy, quick and healthy meal for the whole family.

Butternut squash soup is one of the simplest soups to make, hands down. It’s an excellent soup for beginner cooks. It also makes an nutritious meal for the family: babies, toddlers, older kids and adults all love the orange color and velvety texture of this soup.

Ideally, purchase a squash fresh from your local farmer’s market in the fall – you won’t believe how much more vibrant the flavors are when the squash has just been picked. Of course, they can always be found at your local supermarket too. Most winter squash will keep quite well on your kitchen counter for several weeks.

If you’re really in a hurry, you can usually find butternut squash in your veggie aisle, pre-cut and peeled for your convenience (though not as fresh). A package of frozen squash can be handy to keep in your freezer for last minute inspiration as well.

Butternut Squash Soup

The ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil or butter
  • 1 onion (and if you’re out of onion, just skip it! Size? If the squash is big, use a big onion. Small squash, small onion.)
  • 1 butternut squash
  • 1 quart (or homemade) chicken stock.
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. That’s it! Chop the onion into a 1-inch pieces. Heat the oil or butter in a medium-sized pot over medium-low heat. Throw in the onion to saute, and stir occasionally.
  2. While this is cooking, peel and dice the butternut squash. (Note: this is definitely easier if you have invested in a good-quality peeler and knife. If you find this step overly strenuous, spend the money and get yourself better utensils. You’ll be more excited to cook if you’ve got one good knife in the house.)
  3. Cut off the stem, cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Scrape the cavity to remove the stringy stuff. Cut the squash into a 1.5 inch pieces.
  4. When the onion looks soft and golden (approximately 7-12 minutes) toss the squash into the pot. Pour the stock in until the squash is covered, adding a little water if needed. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer about 20 minutes, or until squash can be squished with a fork.
  5. Cool for a few minutes. If you own a hand blender, use it to puree the soup right in the pot. Otherwise, scoop the soup into your blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Pour into another bowl, blend another batch of soup until finished. Put back in the pot and reheat. Salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

This soup is so easy, the hard part is making it not taste good. However, if you want to add a little more zip to impress the in-laws, try garnishing the soup in one of these ways:

  • Sprinkle each bowl of soup with a dash of nutmeg
  • Throw a dollop of plain yogurt into each bowl
  • Add a tablespoon or two of cream to the pot
  • Fry some fresh sage leaves in a little butter until crispy, and then lay on top of individual servings
  • Add a small crumble of bacon to each bowl

For a complete meal, try serving the soup with salad, wholegrain bread, crackers and cheese or hummus. It also makes an excellent starter course for pork chops or pork loin dishes.

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